Ara was raised in Australia and has been living in New York for eleven years. He was fourteen when he took his first photograph, one of his mother during her recovery from a fall. At that time he realized that creating a respectful image of her was a way to restore her dignity and to allow her to see herself as she would like to be seen by others. He has continued to explore the idea of portraiture as a means of giving distinction to people and uncovering the extraordinary in their everyday lives. Placing subjects inside their environment, he creates a scene that communicates to the viewer who the subjects are and how they live. He is interested in the concept of seeing a person's emotions by way of their physicality and environment; his intention is to convey a moment in time that suggests a narrative that may linger in the viewer's mind.

Ara effectively handles editorial and detailed advertising assignments from any or every person who can be named or thought of or described. He is accomplished in both film and digital formats and uses all technologies to deliver his trade. He has exhibited in group shows since 1984 and in collaborations with other artists in established and alternative galleries in Sydney, Melbourne, New York and London. He had his first one-man show at the Australian Center of Photography in1990. He studied at Sydney College of the Arts, where he earned a post-graduate degree in painting, and he is pursuing further studies in visual arts and philosophy at Curtin University .His clients have included Canon, Compaq, Samsung, Phillips, Time Out, Business Week, Vogue Australia, and the Garvan Institute for Breast Cancer Research. In 2004, he created a charity event in New York with contributions from world-renowned photographers David Lachappelle, Peter Lindberg, Patrick Demarchalier and Mark Seliger and raised money for Village Care Charities, an organization that helps people living with HIV and AIDS. He was a finalist in the 2007 Australian Portrait Prize. In 2008 he was awarded runner up in the Doug Moran portrait Prize. His current projects include a study of families and people in a culturally diverse U.S., a series exploring assigned roles in culture.